Halloween is almost upon us and although this year's celebrations will need to be small gatherings, it's still a great time to learn about European cultures, traditions, frightening places and haunted castles.
Here we explore some of Europe's top Halloween destinations and how we can still celebrate the scariest night of the year.
This fabled Romanian region is forever associated with Bran Castle and the world-famous legend of Dracula. Boasting frozen-in-time villages, a collection of citadels, striking churches, and over 118 castles, Transylvania is one of the best creepy Halloween experiences in Europe. This year a virtual party is taking place at Bran Castle so you can celebrate Halloween safely from your living room.
The Horroween session will take place live on Facebook, and YouTube on Saturday 31 October from 6pm CET. A special interactive Romanian (and Transylvanian) evening is also being held with cooking demonstrations, wine presentations and a Transylvanian music performance as well as as storytelling of the true accurate story of Count Dracula.
Is there any festival that isn’t celebrated in style in Edinburgh? The Scottish capital has always whispered tales of ghosts and ghouls. Every year, the Samhuinn Fire Festival takes place in the city’s old town where you can rub shoulders with locals dressed in colourful costumes in the cobbled streets to create an ideal atmosphere to welcome in the winter. This year’s Samhuinn Fire Festival is digital and takes place over Facebook Live and YouTube.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the ‘little Venice of the North’ is just a romantic place. It’s just as evil come Halloween as it is romantic at other times of the year. Be prepared to get the shivers when learning of the water ghost that haunts the Love Lake. Private tours(limited to 6 people per booking due to corona measures) will take you on a journey of legends, myths, and sagas as they weave you around on a dark city walk. Did they really happen? Well, that’s for you to find out. Heading inside and the Historium is transformed into a spooky atmosphere with its hundred pumpkins, cobwebs and bats. Feeling brave? Daredevils can get their thrills by heading to the Halloween Virtual Reality Experience or visit the Torture Museum. Due to stricter measures imposed by the Flemish government, the Historium will close its doors from Saturday 31/10.
The UK capital is swarming with spooky secrets and when it comes to Halloween it's a scary place to hang out as ghosts of the most infamous serial killers wait to welcome you. The brave can head to one of the scariest escape rooms in the city for a spine-tingling experience as you solve the clues, find the key, and escape bloodthirsty zombies chained to walls.
For a ride, you may want to board the all-black boardmaster for a trip around the city as The Ghost Bus Tours regale spooky facts along the route. And why not head to the Whitechapel area of East London and come face to face with the ghost of Jack the Ripper?
Revealing its evil side, Dublin loves to showcase its spookiness in all its glory at Halloween. At the Botanic Gardens, learn how plants have been used throughout history as poisons and hallucinogenics as well as dark rituals and magic. The popular tourist spot will also bring you a spooky Halloween experience to your front rooms with a lineup of interactive online ones, such as an Online Halloween Party, the EPIC museum's Halloween Spooktacular and for kids, Dublin Zoo is hosting a Virtual Halloween Workshop. Pens, pencils, crayons, and plenty of courage at the ready.
Wherever you choose to celebrate this spooky festival, it's the perfect way to gather in a small group and celebrate this ghoulish time of year.